AMC announces return date for "Breaking Bad"

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

August 11 is when the final eight episodes of "Breaking Bad" will begin airing, later in the summer than the series has ever premiered before. It will also move to the 9 p.m. timeslot so AMC can use "Breaking Bad" as a launching pad for its new crime drama "Low Winter Sun," which will make its debut the same night at 10 p.m. AMC will also debut "Talking Bad," a live half-hour talk show airing at 11 p.m. that "will analyze and dissect every detail of "Breaking Bad's" final eight episodes."

It may seem like AMC is just f---ing with fans anxiously awaiting the conclusion of "Breaking Bad" by first splitting the final 16 episodes into two parts, and now pushing the premiere back to August. But it's fairly common practice for networks to launch a new series on the back of a hit. (Those who were irate they didn't get a two-hour Season 3 finale of "Breaking Bad" - like the cable info said - and instead got a sneak peak at the pilot of "Rubicon" know this all too well. Thankfully, I was not one of these people as I knew "Rubicon" was airing and actually quite liked the series and its pilot.)

Anyway, AMC is going to need some hitshows - other than "The Walking Dead" - going forward since "Breaking Bad" is wrapping up this year, "Mad Men" is most likely doing the same in 2014 and "The Killing" and "Hell on Wheels" are on life support. "Hell on Wheels" is moving to the TV wasteland of Saturdays for its third season staring August 3. "The Killing" is coming back June 2, but it has just sucked and steadily gone down in the ratings over two seasons.

Enter "Low Winter Sun," an adaptation of an award-winning British miniseries of the same name. Starring Mark Strong ("Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy") and Lennie James (the best character/actor on "The Walking Dead"), "Low Winter Sun" has potential. Here's the synopsis from the press release:

"Low Winter Sun" is a contemporary story of murder, deception, revenge and corruption in a world where the line between cops and criminals is blurred. The series begins with the murder of a cop by a fellow Detroit detective. Seemingly the perfect crime, in reality the murder activates forces that will forever alter the detective's life, and pull him into the heart of the Detroit underworld.

Here's my take. "Low Winter Sun" will be run by executive producer and writer Chris Mundy, who's worked on "Cold Case," "Criminal Minds" and most recently "Hell on Wheels." Mundy could be more than capable at making "Low Winter Sun" into a compelling drama along the lines of AMC's elite series "Breaking Bad" and " Mad Men." But last time the network hired a "Cold Case" alum, it was Veena Sud who ran "The Killing" - straight into the ground. So ideally "Low Winter Sun" will be a show "Breaking Bad" fans will embrace, but it's also quite possible they won't. Then those same fans could be having clandestine exchanges with Jim Beaver in a Denny's bathroom to obtain a car with a machine gun in the trunk … for whatever reason(s) one would do such a thing.